Pope invites pair to Vatican

Israeli, Palestinian presidents to meet with Francis in June

Posted: May 26, 2014 at 5:06 a.m.

Pope Francis greets Israeli children after at the heliport of Hadassah hospital in mount Scopus Jerusalem, Sunday, May 25, 2014. Pope Francis took a dramatic plunge Sunday into Mideast politics while on his Holy Land pilgrimage, receiving an acceptance from the Israeli and Palestinian presidents to visit him at the Vatican next month to discuss embattled peace efforts. The summit was an important moral victory for the pope, who is named after the peace-loving Francis of Assisi. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

JERUSALEM -- Pope Francis delivered a powerful boost of support to the Palestinians during a Holy Land pilgrimage Sunday, repeatedly backing their statehood aspirations, praying solemnly at Israel's separation barrier and calling the stalemate in peace efforts "unacceptable."

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